A3 Copier Legacy Represents Waste

Think about the size of a typical copier – it’s a big, floor standing machine, right?  Why is it so big?  Part of the answer is because it’s built to scan and copy 11”x17” paper, also known as ‘A3’ or ‘tabloid’ size.  Now think about how often you’ve made copies of tabloid sized paper.  Not often, if ever, for most of us.

Data from Lexmark’s extensive customer assessments shows that less than 5 percent of output is on paper larger than legal-sized, 8.5”x14” sheets.  Yet many large organizations, especially public sector entities, still require all or most devices to be tabloid-sized.   It’s presumed that their older devices had it, so they want the new, replacement devices to have it as well.So, other than the size of the devices, you may ask “what’s the big deal?”.  Why should Lexmark care if they are requiring all of their devices be capable of handling tabloid-sized paper.    The answer lies in the fact that in addition to a 33% waste of office space (which represents some higher cost), these devices are much more expensive to acquire  and maintain.    A TCO (total cost of ownership) analysis done by Lexmark shows that A3 devices cost approximately 30 percent or more to operate and maintain.

Lexmark’s goal is to bring value to our customers by helping them print less and save money.  We often see our customers beating the cost-saving drum by asking vendors for the lowest price on these devices.  Getting the lowest price is a commendable effort, but they may be getting the lowest price even if it costs them more.    To say that differently, rather than focusing solely on price, centralized purchasing entities need to understand their actual business requirements and look at ways to reduce the total cost of ownership.

Lexmark helps our customers save money by taking a balanced deployment approach whereby every user may have access to A3 devices (not to mention color printing), but the majority of devices are of the lower-cost A4 variety.  Because A4 devices are a smaller and lower cost solution, more devices can be deployed – a “distributed print” approach – so that the output devices are actually closer to each user.  By distributing more devices closer to users, employee productivity and satisfaction increases.

The benefits of smart deployment of devices will ripple through your organization beyond the initial purchase price.  Lexmark recommends that every organization consider this perspective as they evaluate their copier needs.

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This article was submitted by Scott Hill, Operations Consultant, Lexmark Global Services and member of the LexmarkNews Blog Editorial Board.